VVOLs and VMware

Post by Christine Taylor (thank you)

The definition of VVOLs is simple but the effect is ground-breaking. Here is the simple definition part: Virtual Volumes (VVOL) is an out-of-band communication protocol between array-based storage services and vSphere 6.

And here is the ground-breaking part: VVOLs enables a VM to communicate its data management requirements directly to the storage array. The idea is to automate and optimize storage resources at the VM level instead of placing data services at the LUN (block storage) or the file share (NAS) level.

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Virtual Volumes (VVols) and Replication/DR

Good post by Cormac Hogan (thank you)

There have been a number of queries around Virtual Volumes (VVols) and replication, especially since the release of KB article 2112039 which details all the interoperability aspects of VVols.

In Q1 of the KB, the question is asked “Which VMware Products are interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols)?” The response includes “VMware vSphere Replication 6.0.x”.

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Why Virtual Volumes?

Post by Andrew Sullivan (thank you)

How many times in the last 3-4 years have you heard “Virtual Volumes”, “VVols”, “Storage Policy Based Management”, or any of the other terms associated with VMware’s newest software-defined storage technology?  I first heard about VVols in 2011, when I was still a customer, and the concept of no longer managing my virtual machine datastores, but rather simply consuming storage as needed with features applied as requested, was fascinating and exciting to me.

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vSphere Virtual Volumes Interoperability: VAAI APIs vs VVOLs

Good post by Rawlinson Rivera (thank you)

In 2011 VMware introduced block based VAAI APIs as part of vSphere 4.1 release. This APIs helped improving performance of VMFS by providing offload of some of the heavy operations to the storage array. In subsequent release, VMware added VAAI APIs for NAS, thin provisioning, and T10 command support for Block VAAI APIs.

Now with Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) VMware is introducing a new virtual machine management and integration framework that exposes virtual disks as the primary unit of data management for storage arrays. This new framework enables array-based operations at the virtual disk level that can be precisely aligned to application boundaries with the capability of providing a policy-based management approach per virtual machine.

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vSphere 6.0 Storage Features Part 5: Virtual Volumes

Good post by Cormac Hogan (thank you)

I pushed this post out a bit as I know that there is a huge amount of information out there around virtual volumes already. This must be one of the most anticipated storage features of all time, with the vast majority of our partners ready to deliver VVol-Ready storage arrays once vSphere 6.0 becomes generally available. We’ve been talking about VVols for some time now. Actually, even I have been talking about it for some time – look at this tech preview that I did way back in 2012 – I mean, it even includes a video! Things have changed a bit since that tech preview was captured, so let’s see what Virtual Volumes 2015 has in store.

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vSphere 6.0 Storage Features Part 4: VMFS, VOMA and VAAI

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Good post by Cormac Hogan (thank you)

There was a time when VMFS was the only datastore that could be used with ESXi. That has changed considerably, with the introduction of NFS (v3 and v4.1), Virtual Volumes and of course Virtual SAN. However VMFS continues to be used by a great many VMware customers and of course we look to enhance it with each release of vSphere. This post will cover changes and enhancements to VMFS in vSphere 6.0.

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Top 6 Features of vSphere 6

Good post by Kevin Kelling (thank you)

It sounds cliché to say “this is our best release ever” because in a sense the newest release is usually the most evolved.  However as a four year VMware vExpert I do think that there is something special about this one.  This is a much more significant jump than going from 4.x to 5.x for example.  It’s not just feature packed or increasing the maximums, although it does accomplish both of these.  vSphere 6 introduces a few new paradigms which have the potential to create a lot of value, efficiency, and also good old-fashioned performance.

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